Lead Regional Economist – IFAD

IFAD-Investing-in-rural-people-logoDuration of Assignment:   Two years (subject to renewal)


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an International Financial Institution and a Specialized United Nations Agency whose mission is to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty. IFAD’s headquarters is in Rome, Italy, and is present in more than 80 countries to develop and finance programmes and projects aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and incomes.

The Programme Management Department (PMD) is responsible for the overall lending programme of the Fund, and is composed of five (5) regional divisions and a Technical Advisory Services Division . The Eastern and Southern Africa Division (ESA) is handling with the lending programme and strategic and policy dimension of this region.


The Lead Regional Economist is an economic policy and strategy leader and knowledge builder in his/her region. Through crosscutting work, both in a diversity of economic sub-specializations and across countries in the region and/or the organization, s/he acts as a catalyst for the generation and use of economic knowledge within IFAD as well as with outside institutions. S/He is accountable for the delivery of IFAD services to the rural populations of the region by:

1.   Providing timely, authoritative and analytical advice to staff in appropriate forms to enhance the quality, relevance and effectiveness of the division’s work and instruments (Results-Based Country Strategic Opportunities Programmes, investments projects, grants, policy dialogue, knowledge management).

2.   Developing and implementing strategies, systems and approaches to better integrate the different types of operations, allowing IFAD to enhance its value addition, its scale of operations and its impact on poverty reduction in the region.

The Lead Regional Economist works under the overall strategic, policy and management guidance of the Assistant Vice-President and the direct supervision of the divisional Director. Therewould be only one Lead Regional Economist in each division.


1. Leads the implementation of the quality support process. Working with the Divisional Director, Country Programme Managers and the Portfolio Advisor, s/he will ensure that key divisional outputs (including for new investments, country strategic opportunities papers (COSOP), country briefs, completion reports) meet IFAD quality standards. Key areas of the Lead Regional Economist¿s focus will be: economic and financial analysis of project design reports, institutional arrangements of new investments and integration of scaling up mechanisms.

2. In close collaboration with the Portfolio Advisor, supports the divisional director in strategic planning and programme oversight activities, country assessments and resource allocation analysis.

3. Leads policy dialogue at the regional level with regional bodies and entities with the aim to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the rural poor. Provides authoritative advice to CPMs on the design of country-specific policy dialogue processes; designs and manages sub-regional, regional and international policy dialogue that is relevant and adds value to the work of the region at the country level, including interactions with other funding and technical assistance multilaterals and bilaterals.

4. Liaises with Lead and Senior Regional Economists in other regional divisions and works closely with divisional focal points (gender and youth, environment, rural finance, farmers¿ organizations, etc.) to provide timely advice and information on key issues in country policy dialogue to country teams (with particular emphasis on decentralized staff), through Country Programme Management Team meetings, participation in missions and in response to direct requests, including helping to identify relevant expertise within and outside of IFAD.

5. Identifies major opportunities for strategic collaboration with multi-lateral and bilateral donors to better leverage IFAD’s loan and grant operations.

6. Leads the design of annual grant work plans and manages the grant portfolio, including creating and managing processes to facilitate the uptake of lessons learned and sharing these experience with IFAD, its partners and policy makers.

7. Develops and maintains an overview of regional trends and identify and analyse cross-cutting issues and results to generate inputs for strategic/programmatic documents and agenda at the divisional and corporate levels. This would include medium term plans, annual reports, IFAD communications materials, briefs and presentations by IFAD senior management.

8. Designs and manages an integrated Knowledge Management and South-South strategy and work plan, including the development of effective instruments. Prepares key inputs and works closely with the Portfolio Advisor in overall preparation of the annual portfolio performance review report.

MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS: The Lead Regional Economist is accountable for integrity, transparency, and equity in the management of IFAD resources. This includes People Management through support to recruitment of technical specialists and technical leadership/capacity development, Resource Management by providing strategic and technical advice into programme development, and Knowledge and Content Management by ensuring (1) knowledge content within specialty/thematic area is continuously updated and available through the intranet (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and made available to clients and peers through the inter-/intra-net and (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available.


Assignments require the provision of authoritative economic expertise and technical leadership at the regional level.  Lead Regional Economists define, propose and develop complex new programmes or policies for the Fund and represent the position of their region in intergovernmental and inter-organizational economic fora.  Innovation is required in the adaptation and development of research methods to evolving technical and programmatic contexts.

Work at this level is considered as substantially complexity and of critical concern to the Fund.  In particular, analytical and advisory work requires in¿depth identification and consideration of a full range of factors relevant to the examination and discussion of programme problems and policies in the solution of methodological problems or in the formulation of economic policy proposals and project recommendations. Errors would normally cause policy and project decisions and advice to be based on inaccurate economic analysis or an inadequate range of programme considerations that may result in failure of a project or could mislead policy¿makers or national governments, which would damage the credibility of the Fund and the intended beneficiaries of projects or policies.


The work relationships of Lead Regional Economists involve the provision of authoritative economic advice and the negotiation and resolution of problems that arise in mission planning, project appraisal or the preparation of studies and reports.  S/He typically serves as the Fund’s senior regional economic expert and exercises wide professional latitude in contacts in his/her field(s), providing economic leadership and methodological guidance to management, national governments, development partners and other.

In servicing intergovernmental bodies, expert groups and other meetings, the Lead Regional Economist provides expertise and recommendations for policy formulation and official conclusions in a consultative and advisory capacity; s/he also may provide information regarding the organization’s policies, and act as the representative of the organization.  Contacts are maintained to identify and evaluate emerging developments.

Organizational unit: Eastern and Southern Africa Division (ESA)

Duty Station: Rome, Italy

Deadline for applications: 05/15/2015

Read more and apply here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cosmopolitalians.eu/lead-regional-economist-ifad/

Read previous post:
IEC Outreach Officer – IAEA

Job vacancy -  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Organizational Setting The Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (NS) formulates and...